Having a solid hiring process isn’t just a good idea, it’s absolutely essential. Choosing the right candidate for the job is vital to making sure your company or organization thrives in today’s competitive market. You want your employees to add value to the workplace and to contribute to the company culture. Hiring the wrong person can cost the company both time and money, so make sure your hiring process is as stellar as your most qualified candidates.
1. Write Job Postings that Stand Out
Keep your job descriptions short and to the point, but always include key responsibilities and skills required. Most importantly, write something that is captivating to the audience you want to attract.
2. Put Them to the Test
It’s one thing to interview well – it’s another thing to perform well on a test, which measures the skill sets needed to do the job you’re hiring for. Tests come in all forms. You could chose to administer a written test, create a simulation or a role-play, or ask a candidate to create a deliverable such as a marketing plan, for example. The results of the tests make it easy to separate those who are able to do the job and those who aren’t… therefore, making the hiring process easier.
3. Take Your Time
This is a page out of Steve Jobs’ book. Literally. Jobs was passionate about hiring and would take a considerable amount of time in the hiring process. Today, many hiring managers make the mistake of moving the process along quickly to get someone hired, thinking it will increase the company’s productivity. But ultimately the opposite may happen instead – you hire a person who needs more training or simply isn’t the best fit for the job – costing the company valuable time and money.
“Why wouldn’t you take as much time as necessary to find all the A-players?,” asked Jobs “If three were not so great, why would you want a company where 30% of your people are not so great? A small company depends on great people much more than a big company does.”
4. Ask Great Questions & Listen
When it comes time for the interview, ask questions that reveal a candidate’s behavior and personality. It’s not enough to ask questions that elicit a simple “yes” or “no” answer. Instead, ask candidates hypothetical questions about future scenarios or to describe in detail a time that challenged them. And be ready to listen! Notice if the candidate tells the stories with enthusiasm or a sense of lethargy. You want to hire candidates who are engaged and care enough to explain themselves well.
5. Bring Them In
Once you’ve decided on the top candidates for the role, bring them into the office and have them spend time with employees how have similar roles. This gives candidates a chance to see, first hand, what it’s like to work at the company – so it’s an ideal part of the process for the candidate too.
After they spend time sitting with team members, talk to them about the experience and let them ask questions and provide feedback. Consider letting candidates work 10-20 hours paid as a trial.
6. Check References
Checking references is one of the most overlooked parts of the hiring process, but this step is invaluable. Not only can a reference check ensure that your candidate is as qualified as they say they are, but you can also gain valuable insight into their past performances.
Background and reference checks are essential to rule out risky behavior that could mean legal trouble for your company down the road. In fact, hiring without background and criminal checks is considered one of the expensive mistakes in the hiring process, costing corporations billions of dollars every year.
7. Use Online Applications Strategically
Use questionnaires to determine which candidates should move forward by completing an application. Customize the questions to the job the person is applying for and keep the questionnaire short with specific questions that access the person’s skill set.
8. Look Ahead
When thinking about the employees you want working with you, think about where you see your company in six months and anticipate the needs of your clients. Use analytic tools to gauge where the job market will be in the future and hire the best candidate to help you succeed down the road.
9. Use Networks to Find Candidates
Share the job postings with your employees, so they can help in the job search by sharing the listing with friends and their professional networks. Use Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media sites. Reach out to your professional connections, social groups, and academic organizations to find the best candidates.